Imagine you have had a terrible day at work, your boss was horrible to you, or you had a run in with a friend. You arrive home in a foul mood, not wanting to talk to your family, and generally feeling pretty wound up and grumpy. What could you do with that pent up anger, stress or irritation?
Recently I listened to a Podcast that featured a great spiritual teacher of our time, Eckhart Tolle. Eckhart talked about a time when he was sitting in a park watching two ducks swimming on a pond. Suddenly the two ducks came together and started fighting, wings flapping and making a horrendous noise. The whole incident lasted about 3 minutes, and when they had finished the ducks both retreated to separate parts of the pond. It looked like they went off to lick their wounds, and have a bit of a sulk.
After about 5 minutes both ducks started furiously flapping their wings and making very loud quacking noises. This lasted for about 2 or 3 minutes. Once this little display had passed they both swam up to each other and were reunited as if nothing had ever happened.
How is this even relevant to stress, anger or fitness?
It’s about re-purposing. This is the time to get your workout gear on.
Choose an activity that leaves you feeling pretty spent. This could be a run, throwing some heavy weights around, dancing or gardening. The activity itself doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are moving and re-purposing all the negative feelings into energy for your workout.
When you start, just let yourself feel whatever it is you are feeling.
REALLY throw yourself into what you are doing – try and be as intense as you can and really go for it. As you physically fatigue, you will feel yourself letting go of your pain, anxiety or stress. By the time you are finished (try to do this for at least 30 minutes) you will have a lot more perspective, and chances are that that your mood would have changed altogether.
So if you use stress as a trigger you are onto a winner – not only your workout will be more intense, but doing it this way may just save you an argument with whoever is around you when you go into grumpy mode.
Wayne is a Nutrition coach & Personal Trainer specialising in the over 40's age group. Wayne also runs The Next 40-Mantor Project, an all male group helping men to alleviate stress and take control of their masculinity. www.thenext40.co.uk
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